Unit 1a

Coming Back Stronger by Drew Brees


Grade 7


Unit Length and Description:


Nine Weeks


Unit 1, Coming Back Stronger, explores the memoir.  Students will read portions of this memoir along with other narrative nonfictions, informative texts, and poems.  The writing element will focus on narrative compositions, as the students will create their own memoir.  The research component of this unit focuses on discovering the elements of a memoir and applying it to their own.  The focus of this unit will be on key ideas and details, craft and structure, and writing informative/explanatory essays and narratives.




Reading Literature

RL.7.1: Cite several pieces of relevant textual evidence to support analysis of that the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.


RL.7.2: Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.


RL.7.3: Analyze how particular elements of a story interact (e.g., how setting shapes the characters or plot).


Reading Informational Texts

RI.7.1: Cite several pieces of relevant textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.


RI.7.2: Determine two or more central ideas in a text and analyze their development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.


RI.7.3: Analyze the interactions between individuals, events, and ideas in a text (e.g., how ideas influence individuals or events, or how individuals influence ideas or events).



W.7.3: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured even sequences.

a)   Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and point of view and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.

b)   Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, and description, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.

c)    Use a variety of transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence and signal shifts from one time frame to another.

d)   Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to capture the action and convey experiences and events.

e)   Provide a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events.


W.7.4: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.


W.7.5: With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a different approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed.


Speaking and Listening

SL.7.1: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher led) with diverse partners on grade 7 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

f)    Come to discussions prepared, having read or researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on ideas under discussion.

g)   Follow rules for collegial discussions, track progress toward specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed.

h)   Pose questions that elicit elaboration and respond to others’ questions and comments with relevant observations and ideas that bring the discussion back on topic as needed.

i)     Acknowledge new information expressed by others and, when warranted, modify their own views.



L.7.1: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

j)    Explain the function of phrases and clauses in general and their function in specific sentences.

k)   Choose among simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences to signal differing relationships among ideas.

l)     Place phrases and clauses within a sentence, recognizing and correcting misplaced and dangling modifiers.

L.7.2: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

m) Use a comma to separate coordinate adjectives (e.g., It was a fascinating, enjoyable movie but not He wore an old[,] green shirt).

n)   Spell correctly.


Enduring Understandings:


·        Key ideas and details allow an audience to better understand and comprehend memoirs.

·        Key ideas and details interact with each other, allowing the reader to make deeper connections and analyses.

·        Memoirs can teach the reader many valuable life lessons.

·        Memoirs are both similar to and different from biographies and autobiographies.

·        When writing a memoir, it is important to incorporate narrative techniques, transition words, and descriptive details.

·        When writing, it is important to capitalize, use punctuation, and spell correctly.

·        When interacting with the teacher and fellow classmates, it is important to speak appropriately and listen to others’ points of view, responding respectfully.


Essential Questions:


·        What elements of memoirs make it easier for us to understand their meaning?

·        How do these elements affect the memoir?

·        Why do we read memoirs?

·        How do we effectively compose a narrative memoir?

·        How are memoirs similar to and different from biographies and autobiographies?

·        What grammar rules should I remember when I write a narrative memoir?

·        How should I behave when I participate in class or group discussions?